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  • » 09/21/2008, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: appeal for victims of hurricanes in the Caribbean, and to world leaders, to defeat poverty



    Before the Angelus, Benedict XVI commented on the Gospel of the day and emphasized the happiness to be found in being "workers in the vineyard of the Lord". And he cited St Matthew, St Paul - and himself.

    Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - Benedict XVI has issued an appeal and a prayer for the victims of the hurricanes in the Caribbean, in order that "aid may quickly reach the most heavily damaged areas". After the prayer of the Angelus, he also called upon world leaders to apply themselves to "uprooting extreme poverty, hunger, ignorance, and the scourge of diseases, which especially strike the most vulnerable", on the occasion of the UN assembly next September 25.

    Remembering the disasters brought by the hurricanes Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike to the people of Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Texas (United States), he said "I would again like to assure all of these dear people of my special prayers for them. I also hope that aid may quickly reach the most heavily damaged areas. May the Lord grant that, at least in these circumstances, solidarity and fraternity may prevail over any other concern".

    The request to world leaders that they work against poverty comes a few days before the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly, next September 25 in New York. The meeting is intended to assess the progress made on the objectives established in the Millennium Declaration, September 8, 2000. Addressing the "leaders of all the countries of the world", the pontiff asked that "the necessary measures be taken and applied courageously in order to uproot extreme poverty, hunger, ignorance, and the scourge of diseases, which especially strike the most vulnerable. Although such an effort requires special sacrifices at this time of worldwide economic difficulties, it will not fail to produce important benefits both for the development of nations in need of foreign aid and for the peace and well-being of the entire planet".

    The reflection prior to the Marian prayer, in the courtyard of Castel Gandolfo, was dedicated to commenting on today's Gospel, for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, which presents "the parable of the owner of the vineyard, who at different hours of the day calls laborers to work in his vineyard" (Mt. 20:1-6a).

    "One message of this parable", the pope explained, "lies in the fact that the owner does not tolerate unemployment, so to speak: he wants everyone to be busy in his vineyard. And in reality, being called is itself a form of compensation: being able to work in the vineyard of the Lord, putting oneself at his service, collaborating in his work, constitutes an inestimable reward in itself, which repays any hardship. But only those who love the Lord and his Kingdom understand this; those who instead work only for payment will never realize the value of this inestimable treasure".

    Benedict XVI numbers St Matthew, whose liturgical feast is celebrated today, among these "workers in the vineyard": "Before Jesus called him", the pontiff said, "he was a tax collector, and for this reason he was considered a public sinner, excluded from the 'vineyard of the Lord'. But everything changed when Jesus, passing nearby his customs post, saw him and told him: 'Follow me'. Matthew got up and followed him. He immediately changed from being a tax collector to being a disciple of Christ. Instead of being 'last', he found himself 'first', thanks to the logic of God, which - fortunately for us! - is different from that of the world".

    Another "worker" is St Paul: "St Paul, whom we are celebrating in a special way with a jubilee year, also experienced the joy of hearing himself called by the Lord to work in his vineyard. And what work he did! But, as he himself confesses, it was the grace of God working in him, the grace that transformed him from being a persecutor of the Church to being an apostle of the Gentiles. So much so, that he said: 'For to me life is Christ, and death is gain'. But he immediately adds: 'If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. And I do not know which I shall choose' (Phil. 1:21-22). Paul understood well that working for the Lord is already a reward on this earth".

    Benedict XVI did not overlook himself, and recalled that at the Mass on the very day of his election, at St. Peter's, "I was prompted spontaneously to present myself as a worker in the vineyard of the Lord".

    At the end of the ceremony, the pope greeted the pilgrims in various languages. The groups present entertained him with songs in German, Spanish, and Italian.

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    See also

    17/08/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: open humanitarian corridors immediately in Ossetia, and in the rest of Georgia
    Benedict XVI also asks for the protection of minority rights in the area. The universality of salvation makes the Church "a house of welcome for all, the sign and instrument of communion for the entire human family", overcoming any temptation of "racism", "intolerance", "exclusion". An invitation to drive carefully on the streets, as an expression of respect for "the good of human life". Remembrance of Bolzano bishop Egger, who died last night.

    06/07/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: G8, overcome humanity's hunger and extreme poverty
    At his first Angelus from Castel Gandolfo this year, Benedict XVI launches an appeal to world leaders meeting tomorrow in Hokkaido. A prayer for the WYD in Sydney and a greeting (also in Chinese!) to a Chinese NGO, the Soong Ching-ling Foundation, which works on behalf of children in China and in the world.

    02/08/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: saints of Year for Priests, to understand the value of mission in the Church and world
    From Castel Gandolfo, Benedict XVI illustrates value of certain figures, as models for priests: St. Alphonsus Liguori., St. Francis, St. John Mary Vianney, St. Dominic, St. Cajetan of Thiene and Pope Paul VI, who died 31 years ago in Castel Gandolfo.

    28/08/2011 VATICAN
    Following the Lord on the path of the Cross, renews our way of thinking, says Pope
    At the Angelus, Benedict XVI highlights the "divergence" between "the Father's plan of love that comes to His giving of His only begotten Son on the Cross to save mankind" and the "expectations, desires, plans of the disciples ". When life "is directed only at social success, physical and economic well-being, we no longer reason according to God, but to man". The enthusiastic greetings of young people, returning from the recently held World Youth Day.

    23/08/2009 VATICAN
    Following Jesus means going against the trend, beyond scandal and adaptation, says Pope
    Jesus’ “hard” message impels many to reject and abandon it, or to adapt it to the fashions of the times distorting its true meaning. But following the Lord fills one with joy. Benedict XVI jokes about his wrist now free from the plaster, after his fall in Valle d'Aosta. Greetings to the participants of the Meeting of Rimini.



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